Wisconsin River for the good times
An Outdoorsman’s Journal
Mark Walters sponsored by
Hello friends, Some of the best adventures I go on are the simplest. This week I camped on the Wisconsin River near Portage with Michelle Chiaro and my pups Ruby and Fire. We had a new pal along and that is a baby duck named Murph. Murph literally wandered into our lives two weeks ago, I think he is a mallard and he/she is a super cool pet who loves attention and likes to eat sweet corn, chick feed and spaghetti.
Sometimes Murph sleeps with me and he/she loves to cuddle.
Tuesday, Aug. 4 High 73, Low 51
Here was the plan. I was going to launch my 18.6 War Eagle at Portage and we were going to head to where a whole bunch of us held my stepson Joey Dushek’s bachelor party a year ago. Joey’s shindig was on a sand bar with a deep water drop off and there was a channel on another edge that held some dandy northern pike and muskies.
Some bad luck came our way twice. First, we got the boat stuck in some sand and my rig was very full. Michelle and I had to do some gut wrenching to push the War Eagle out of our predicament. When we got to our destination, time and current had changed it so that it was underwater and the fishing holes were very filled-in with sand.
We headed north to a different sandbar/island and began the task of building a comfortable camp. The mood was excellent as we had about 40 hours to live in paradise.
A brief description of this area would be that for being so close to civilization there are very few people on the river, especially on week days. The shallow water and ever-changing layout to the channel can wreak havoc on man and machine and that really keeps the general population out.
So it is night time, we fished from shore, had a fire and another stepson of mine, Travis Dushek, came with his girlfriend Liv Dahlke for a visit. Michelle caught three walleyes to my zero. Travis runs a mud motor, and is 1,000% addicted to the outdoors.
It was very late when we quit looking at the stars and campfire.
Wednesday, Aug. 5 High 75, low 53
Here is a little side note on my buddy Murph. We do not want him getting eaten by a big fish or an eagle and thus we have to be very careful because he can run and swim extremely fast. This, perhaps, one-third grown duckling has both Fire and Ruby in love with it. At home and here at camp one of the two is always guarding him.
This morning Michelle and I were very lazy, which is what trips like this are all about. We fished from shore, ate a great meal, and, at noon, decided it was happy hour which meant it was ok to have a very tasty malt beverage.
This afternoon and until dark we explored by boat and fished the entire time. Michelle had a smile from ear to ear as she has now caught seven walleyes to my zero. I had two big fish cut my line. I must admit that this section of the Wisconsin is simply amazing. The views, the wildlife and freedom to camp on the numerous sandbars is my kind of getaway.
We had to head to camp before dark because we ran out of bait and our buddy Murph was talking like he does when he is tired or hungry. I took an ear of homegrown sweet corn and cut the kernels off. Murph has to dunk each kernel in the water before he eats it. Life on the river is great.
Almost everything we ate on this trip came from this way of life. Homegrown taters, green beans, sweet corn, egg, and beef, and we started out the adventure with venison steak.
Naturally, when after another big night we were headed up river the next morning back to the landing, I hit something with my prop and it now has a new shape. This brings me back to my earlier point of why this area is quite desolate even though it is very close to civilization.
Get out on the water before it freezes and you have to wear five layers of clothes!